“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” —Proverbs 27:17
A picture paints a thousand words. The image of a craftsman pressing the blade of a sword against an iron stone, sharpening it to combat-readiness, is employed in this proverb to reflect the importance of true friendship.
Having a friend who will speak into your life honestly, even ready when warranted to say tough words, criticize, or confront, is an invaluable gift.
Back to the picture—the practice of sharpening tools was a great deal more involved in Bible times than today. There were no electric whetstones. It took time. It took precision. It took grinding and pounding and grinding again.
In that way, this proverb speaks to the character of life-improving friendship: this type of friendship is curated over years spent walking together.
Who speaks into your life? Whose life do you speak into? How deep and abiding are these relationships? Can you say the hard things? Can you hear them?
Personal and spiritual growth are not solo flights. The journey you are on is best a shared journey.
“Friendship multiplies the good of life and divides the evil.” —Baltasar Gracian
Friends restore (Galatians 6:1), bear burdens (6:2), are good (Galatians 6:10), forgive (Colossians 3:13), teach and admonish (3:16), encourage (1 Thessalonians 5:11), and spur one another on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Who are you walking with? Iron sharpens iron. A good friend can make you better and more effective in your calling.
We need good friends. We need to be a good friend to others.
My prayer for this week:
Dear Lord, I know I was created to be in relationship with others. Thank you for those you have placed in my life, those who share this journey with me. Please help me to avail myself of their counsel and advice. Help me also to be a better friend, a source of wisdom, nurturing, and encouragement to others.